Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Although I have several things to go do... (including dishes, laundry, grading papers, and writing lesson plans)  I needed to make an announcement!

I just printed and bound my Teacher Work Sample!
It is completely DONE!

I will never have to think about it 
or compare statistics
or write elaborate jibberish 
or be stressed by it ever it again.  
My teacher work sample is 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Tale of the Tooth...

Once upon a time...

(Be warned this is incredibly LONG... and in case you don't want to read the whole thing... the conclusion is, I need a root canal.  Now fill free to read all of the details ;) LoL!)

So, I am sure most of you are already familiar with my teeth problems.  It has completely consumed my life.  Looking back, I was trying to find previous posts about it but I only have one.  I guess I just don't like complaining about things and even though this pain has been on going and constant--I would normally focus on other things.  The other post was written earlier this month (long paragraph in the middle)... that is when the pain was SO intense that I was almost crying during the day at school.  And I really have a high pain tolerance... so to have me be in that much pain that I can't sleep, or even function during the day--something was obviously wrong.

I was getting really frustrated because nothing seemed to be helping and I didn't understand why no one could figure out what the problem was.  I had some people ask me if the pain was just in my head... no--NO!  It was so intense... there is NO way I could have made that up.  But dentist after doctor after etc we were getting zero answers....

Well, to make a long story short, I really do need a root canal.  Now for the long version of that...

So around last February--plus or minus a month-- (seriously this has been a problem for basically the entire year) my teeth started hurting.  I didn't know what to do and decided to try to wait it out.  Sometimes I just have pains but the normally work themselves out and normally it isn't a huge deal.  The body really has a wonderful way of healing itself.  Well, the pain continues to increase so much that I can not handle it any more.  Casey calls our home teacher and he comes to give me a blessing.  That helped some.  Luckily though, our home teacher's wife is a dental hygenist and she actually has ideas as to what it is.  She recommends us going to the dental college in Orem because it is so much cheaper.  We decided that sounds like a good idea and so we make an appointment and go in.  I was so grateful that Casey went with me!  I am so deeply blessed to have such a loving and supporting husband through this on going nightmare!!!!

Well, when we go in for the emergency pain exam--the dentist could not find anything wrong with my teeth.  He took extensive e-rays (he was teaching of the college girls how to do complicated ones) and didn't even charge us for them.  That honestly was a blessing!  He did various different taps and could find nothing wrong.  He concluded that it must be a sinus problem and wrote a prescription for an antibiotic.  My personal opinion is I really did have a sinus infection at this point in time.  The antibiotics worked almost instantly and life was just wonderful again!!

While the dentist was searching for any possible problems, he found a loose filling up in the front that needed replacing.  I never really felt good about this but decided to trust the dentist and have it replaced.  So I go back a little while later to have it worked on.  It was a tiny filling in between my front teeth.  Since it was in the front, they obviously filled it with white colored stuff.  I knew something was wrong with this from the beginning but I didn't know what to do.  I would call my mom often and tell her this dumb filling was causing problems and it hurt and I just wasn't getting used to it.  She would keep telling me that fillings take some time to get use to, that everything should be fine, to just keep waiting.  So I did that.  I didn't know what else to do.  Looking back now, if I would have gone back to the dentist right then, everything could have been solved instantly.

Finally, I don't feel like this white filling hurts any more.  But it was still weird.  I had never had a  space in between these teeth before but now there was.  I just felt like something was wrong but let it go because everything should be fine.  I just knew inside though that it wasn't.  I didn't want to go back to that clinic because I was afraid they would cause more problems.

I wasn't pain free for long though (maybe a week or so).  The pain came back.  It wasn't like the sinus infection pain though.  It was different.  Well, I knew (or thought) it wasn't teeth pain because I had just had everything checked and had a cleaning and didn't have any cavities.  During the 4th of July, we wandered around Freedom Days and found a booth that was offering free 5 minute massages.  That seemed to help relieve the pain.  So maybe it was stress/ tension/ neck muscles problems.  This theory didn't seem like the best possible answer because it was summer and I wasn't stressed out at all.  But we went with it because by now neither of us are sleeping through the night very well.  I would wake up and just lay their crying the pain was so intense.  Casey couldn't really sleep with all of the commotion.  He would try to go get me over the counter medicine but nothing was helping.  I would take it with no effect.

Because we thought it was a tension problem, Casey urges me to go to a chiropractor.  I had never been before and didn't really see the point but was willing to try if it helped.  Well, I thought it might have helped the first time but as the weeks went on, I would be in so much pain driving to the place and leaving that I knew it wasn't doing any good.  It was expensive and we really received no benefits.

Well, thinking that the sinus infection must have come back, we decided to go to a Ear, Nose, Throat doctor. Unfortunately, our insurance doesn't cover it but Casey wanted relief for me.  So we head off there.  He can't find anything wrong either.  At this point, I was normally only in pain at night--again a symptom that through off the doctors.  With our persistence and relating the story of the first sinus infection, we convince him into prescribing a strong antibiotic.  I had to promise that I was not pregnant and would not become pregnant for several months after completion of the medicine--it was that strong.

I started taking it but didn't get the immediate results like last time.  Eventually it started working and I guessed the sinus infection was really just that bad.  Knowing the outcome now, the only reason this medicine started working is because my tooth was infected.  It eventually helped with the bacteria growing in the same place where the filling was placed.  It didn't kill it though--I needed a dentist for that but didn't know it at the time.  I have since learned that the white fillings, if not done 100% correctly can cause the tooth to die and to need a root canal.  Even if it is 100% correct, the body for whatever reason may never accept the white filling and the tooth still might die.  For more information read this article... it is the best I have found explaining what the dentist told me yesterday.

This relief lasted for a short time.  It was great being pain free again.  I thought that it really must be a sinus infection and was so grateful that the pain was finally gone.  It didn't last forever though.  I was so disappointed when the pain came back.  And I was getting so frustrated.  I began begging Casey to have dentures.  My teeth would just hurt so bad--I was miserable.  Again it was worse at night but was beginning to have occasional day hurtings too.  The medicine had no effect.  I was not a happy camper.

One night I am in SO MUCH pain, I seriously thought I was going to die.  I couldn't put up with it any more.  I hadn't slept for many days in a row and this was in the middle of student teaching.  Casey calls our other home teacher and he comes over around midnight to help give me a blessing.  I was deeply blessed that night--it was the first time I had slept in many days.  I was so grateful to be blessed to be able to fall asleep.  I woke up and the pain came back but at least I slept through the night.

Around this same time, was when my teeth all began to hurt during the day too.  I would just sit at school and hold my face the pain was so intense.  My mentor teacher probably thought I was a wimp.  I could not do anything though because when it would cycle and start hurting it was to the point it was all consuming.  Seriously.

Casey scheduled me a dentist appointment (this is what I blogged about earlier) and nothing.  Nothing.  I couldn't believe it!  How could I be in SO much pain and still be getting no answers.  The whole situation kept going from bad to worse.  It was an on going nightmare!!!  I would really like to go back to this dentist and tell them to look at the x-rays they took better.  There is no reason that they should not have been able to see the nerve decay on all of the pictures they took.  This was a random dentist in Provo (because I didn't want to go back to the college).  They were expensive and I honestly, I am really kind of irritated with them.  They should have seen this and solved the problem then!!

The next few days after that dentist, I feel like we are back to square one.  We are trying to consider what our options are and which form of medical treatment we should seek next.  The ENT is so expensive but Casey scheduled me an appointment while I was at school.  I just didn't feel good about that.  As I would pray for guidance, I just felt like I needed to schedule a dentist appointment with the dentist I went to before I was married.  He is *amazing*!!!!  But more than that, he hopefully would be able to compare x-rays with the ones from the past and see if there is any slight variation at all.  I canceled my ENT appointment and scheduled one with my childhood dentist.  Casey thought I was crazy.  I didn't know what I was doing either--I just felt like it was right.

I was trying to schedule an appointment earlier in the month (meaning this month) but because of my crazy school schedule, the earliest I could come up was yesterday.  I was trying and hoping for something earlier but nothing was fitting.  While I was waiting this month out--the pain began to focus in on one tooth.  It was a complete change.  The tooth was the one that I had that dumb white filling replaced earlier.  And then the strangest thing happened, it just stopped hurting.  I haven't had any pain for a couple of weeks.  I thought it was because of the blessing.  Life was getting better.  I was tempted to cancel my appointment with my childhood dentist but just felt like I should go visit him.

I am so grateful I did.  This entire time I have been in extreme pain, my tooth has slowly been dying.  Someone (especially the dentist we saw in Provo) should have known this.  Apparently most people it takes a month to die.  I am weird (and unfortunate) that it has been such a long time for this to happen.  When the pain finally stopped it is because the nerve is completely gone.  No feeling.  No nerve.  Dead.  Yesterday, he drilled into my tooth and said there was no blood.  If it was alive at all, it would have bled when he drilled in but there wasn't a single drop.  I didn't even need the anesthetic apparently (but I am not complaining I got it).  The dentist started a root canal for me by putting in some bacteria cleaning stuff and a really temporary filling (it is so rough to the tongue...).  I go back the day after I finish student teaching to get the whole root canal done and then a week or so later for the crown.  As much as I don't want to have a root canal/ crown, I really like having answers and knowing that I won't have to be in this awful pain ever again.

Anyway, I highly doubt any one will actually read this whole thing... it is long!  If you made it to here, I would love to know...

The end!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipes...

I made these yummy treats with my classes the past couple of days.  They all had a really fun time and it was a great "party" day.  I decided not to just have it be all play though by having them fill out a worksheet telling me which nutrients and food group they came from.  I was connecting the Thanksgiving recipes back to previously covered information and calling it a "review" day... sneaky I know!  I absolutely *loved* teaching this day though!  I came up with everything on my own and it was so much fun to actually teach my own lessons instead of my mentor teacher's lessons.  Maybe teaching isn't so bad after all... LoL!

Anyway, I thought I would share the recipes in case anyone wanted to make them either tonight or tomorrow.  They would be lost of fun with children and also super cute appetizers/ name tag holders....  My favorite to eat was Edible Indian Corn but my favorite to look at was the Pilgrim Hats.  They are just SO cute!!!  (Adjust the recipes for the amount as needed--most of them are written to make around 36--or a classroom set.)
Going clockwise starting at the bottom--the one with a popsicle stick
Edible Indian Corn, Pilgirm Hat, Tiny Cornucopia, Acorn Doughnut, Tiny Turkey
and in the center Turkey Track
P.S. The tiny turkeys normally looked better than this... the one I got a picture of isn't the best...

Turkey Tracks
1-2 packages Ritz Crackers
1 small container vegetable cream cheese spread
Crunchy show mein noodles

Spread the crackers with the cheese.  Then arrange chow mein noodles atop each one to resemble a 3-toed turkey footprint.

Acorn Dough Nuts
1 tub chocolate frosting
3 dozen plain doughnut holes
1 package crumbled toffee
12 pretzels

Frost about one third of the doughnut hole with the chocolate frosting.  Place the crumbled toffee pieces on a large plate.  Roll the frosted top of the doughnut hole in the toffee.  Then add a small piece of a pretzel for the stem.

Tiny Cornucopias
18 Tortillas
4 carrots
1 package celery
36 small tomatoes
36 baby corn ears
36 small pickles

Cut each tortilla in half.  Roll it into a cone with the rounded edge at the open end.  Secure the cone with a toothpick.  The is the “cornucopia.”  Cut the carrots and celery into sticks.  Fill each cornucopia with a variety of small vegetables.

Pilgrim Hats
36 chocolate-striped shortbread cookies
1 ½ package (18 ounces) chocolate chips       
36 marshmallows
36 candy corn

Cut the yellow part off of the candy corn to use as the buckle.  Discard the rest of the candy corn.  Set the cookies with the stripes down on the counter.  Place all of the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir the chips.  If they are not completely melted after stirring, place back in the microwave with 15 second intervals and stirring until smooth.  Using a toothpick, stick a marshmallow in the center then dip it into the chocolate.  Quickly transfer it to the chocolate side of the cookie by placing the toothpick down through the hole of the cookie then using another toothpick to lightly hold the marshmallow, take the first toothpick out of the marshmallow.  Add the piece of yellow candy corn for the buckle.  Chill the hats until set.

Edible Indian Corn
1/2 c. butter
8 c. mini marshmallows
10 c. puffed corn cereal
3 c. diced dried fruit
Popsicle Sticks
9 fruit roll ups

In a large pot, melt butter and mini marshmallows over low heat (about 5 minutes).  Remove the mixture from heat and use a wooden spoon to stir in puffed corn cereal and diced fruit.  Allow the mixture to cool until you can touch it without getting burned.  Shape each treat by pressing about 1/3 cup of the mixture around a popsicle stick.  Cut the fruit roll up into quarters.  Using one piece of the fruit roll up, add husks to the bottom of the ear.  (Slightly moistening them to help stick if needed.)  Makes 36 treats.

Tiny Turkeys
1 piece of wheat bread
Small amount of vegetable cream cheese
Green, red, yellow peppers

Cut each slice of bread into 4ths.  Trim off the crusts.  Spread begetable cream cheese between 2 squares.  Cut a 3rd square into a circle for the head.  Use a tiny bit of cream cheese to attach the head to the body (sandwich).  Using the peppers for facial features and feathers, decorate the turkey sandwiches.

Monday, November 22, 2010

the end of OUR "firsts"

We have had a wonderful first year of marriage and can hardly believe it has already been one year!!!

In our first year we have...

  • lived in 2 apartments
  • attended 7 different temples (Logan, Mt. Timp, Salt Lake, Manti, Provo, Draper, Boise)
  • stayed overnight (aka vacation) 5 times (7 if you count our parents' houses)--some of those were simply overnighters
  • completed 48 credit hours (and enrolled in 24 more)
  • went to 3 dances
  • taught 15 Sunday School lessons
  • listened to 4 different graduation ceremonies (Lisa's commencement, Lisa's convocation, Hannah's [best friend] commencement and Hannah's convocation)
  • visited 3 people in various hospitals
  • celebrated every "first" holiday
  • attended 3 receptions/ open houses  
  • joined in 2 mission reunions (one was his mission president's homecoming) 
  • wrote 115 blog posts (116 if you count this) ...and...
  • said "I LOVE YOU" every day--multiple times a day!
And thus begins the 1st day of our second year of marriage... :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

One Year Later...

One year ago today was the most 
special, amazing, exceptional, memorable, significant day of my life!!!
It was filled with love, joy, hope, peace, excitement, thrillgratitude, and eternal love.
It was the best day of my life--to that point.  
(And since then I have had 365 more best days.  No these days have not been perfect; they have been filled with trials and moments for learning along with the seasons of joy.  But still, each day is better then the previous.)
And I am so deeply thankful that I get to spend ETERNITY 
with the one I love the most!  
Eternity is a very long time... 
and I can think of nothing sweeter than to spend it with my best friend.
Happy One Year Anniversary!!!
(I look forward to an infinite more!!!)

Tomorrow morning if you wake up 

and the sun does not appear
I will be here
If in the dark, we lose sight of love
Hold my hand, and have no fear
'Cause I will be here

I will be here
When you feel like being quiet
When you need to speak your mind
I will listen
And I will be here
When the laughter turns to cryin'
Through the winning, losing and trying
We'll be together
I will be here

Tomorrow morning, if you wake up
And the future is unclear
I will be here
Just as sure as seasons were made for change
Our lifetimes were made for these years
So I will be here

I will be here
And you can cry on my shoulder
When the mirror tells us we're older
I will hold you
And I will be here
To watch you grow in beauty
And tell you all the things you are to me
I will be here

I will be true to the promise I have made
To you and to the One who gave you to me

Tomorrow morning, if you wake up
And the sun does not appear
I will be here
Oh, I will be here.

(Steven Curtis Chapman)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

continuing to grow

FYI:  I wrote this earlier this morning when I woke up and Casey was still sleeping... I forgot to post it because we went and enjoyed the hotel's breakfast (we were celebrating our One Year Anniversary!!!) together!  :)

While my sweetheart is sleeping, I thought I would post the highlights of this week.  It has been SO busy!!!

I never thought I would say this but I honestly think I would prefer teaching sewing over foods.  I never realized how much TIME it takes to go to the store and shop for 4 classes.  I assume if I was more familiar with the store, it would be faster but I ended up just wandering up and down every aisle trying to find the things I need--I still missed them and had to ask for help.  I basically have no prep hour because it is spent at the store.  This means I end up writing more lesson plans at home in the evening.  When I taught sewing first block, I was stressed because I wasn't sure what I was doing but quickly learned that I had plenty of skills to teach a junior high level.  I could totally teach junior high sewing!!  (High school is still questionable... I think it would be a huge challenge/ impossible because many of the advanced upper level classes, I would not know enough.)

I have decided that I could be happy teaching at either high school or junior high.  They are different but I don't really have a preference.  It is fun teaching junior high because they kids want to please you and talk to you.  The kids all wanted to "be my friend."  (Whatever that means in terms of a student-teacher relationship...LoL!)  The junior high was hard because they are SO talkative.  They can be a problem to handle.  I set the boundaries very strict though.  Kids kept pushing and pushing but eventually realized that I was not going to give in.  After that, they were all happy and realized they could not get away with much.
High school on the other hand is more laid back.  I do have a few talking problems but I have mastered my "really why are you doing that/ I will just wait until you are quiet/ teacher look" and the kids will quiet themselves.  I like high school though because the kids are older and I don't feel like I am babysitting quite as much.  I left a class to take their quizzes through the scantron.  I came back in and it was like they didn't even care that I was gone.  No big deal.  I like being able to participate more in clubs.  I don't really like how kept to themselves they are.  Some kids talk to me but not as much.  It is amazing what a difference it is between the two settings.

On Wednesday this week, I was feeling extremely overwhelmed.  I did not know how I would have time to put all of the countless bags of groceries away and set up the lab for my next class.  And it was a hard lab because each group was making a different vegetable recipe (practicing techniques to help prevent nutrient loss in cooking--steaming, baking, stir-frying, & microwaving).  I had to have every laid out on the demo table and separated for each kitchen because the kids would take too much (probably accidentally) if it wasn't in piles.  Nightmare!  Well, a miracle happened this day.  My mentor teacher started helping me with everything.  She has never done this before.  I didn't ask her but apparently the spirit did.  I was so grateful.  She just started putting things away and sorting (so much easier for her because she has taught these same recipes over and over and over) and placing the correct number of ziplock bags on items that needed to be separated.  My job evolved from having to do everything and having a nervous breakdown to simply dividing pasta, snap peas, shrimp, etc into equal parts in the predetermined baggies.  I was so deeply grateful!  My mentor teacher seriously did answer my prayer that day--not in the way I expected either.  I was praying to be able to handle everything and to be made strong enough to deal with the situation.  My prayers were answered--I was strong enough to handle the situation because my responsibility was substantially decreased.

Tuesday, I had the opportunity to with FCCLA to a regional activity.  It was fun.  We went roller skating at Classical Skating.  Most teachers were sitting on the sides watching.  I quickly realized how long and boring this activity would be if I just sat there.  So I skated for about an hour and a half.  I enjoyed myself but was worried I would not be able move the next day.  Fortunately, nothing hurt on Wednesday!  I just enjoyed skating.  I was slightly disappointed that Casey couldn't come with me but he had a scheduled test at the same time.  He thinks his biology test went well!  We are both hoping and praying he did!  (That class is so hard!!  Why is it that some generals turn into the hardest class you will ever take... seriously!)

Well, I will end with this... (because we are celebrating our anniversary right now and I want to go eat the hotel's hot breakfast--yum!)  Yesterday my students were learning how to make vegetable garnishes (like a radish rose, carrot curls, celery fan and scalloped cucumbers--as a sidenote: I had no idea what I was doing.  I learned how to make all of these myself by watching videos on youtube.  I was nervous to begin with and then my supervisor from BYU came to observe my teaching skills.  Well, it all worked out pretty well--it could have been better but at least it didn't fail!  Anyway...).  After I demoed how to make all of the vegetable garnishes, each kitchen went back and a tray.  I was having a contest--for extra credit--the the best arrangement.  It was hard to pick because they all looked really good!  Well, if you remember my post from not long ago with the teddy bear fruit pizza, the same group decided to turn their vegetable tray into a nativity scene.  I don't think it really looks like it but their explanation was funny.

Jesus is white because he is wrapped up in swaddling clothes (peeled radish) and lying in a manger (veggie dip) with straw all around it (green peppers).  Mary and Joseph (cucumbers) are behind Jesus and then the wise men--there are more than 3 (celery) are standing behind Mary and Joseph.  All of the sheep are up close (cauliflower) and watching with the shepherds (radishes) behind the sheep.  The city folk--although it looks like more wise men to me... LoL! (cucumbers) are behind the shepherds.  Then there are trees (broccoli) and heavenly hosts sing Allelujiah and wrapping their arms around the stable (peeled carrots).  And of course there is a star (radish with toothpicks).  Ok so it really is a stretch--maybe you had to be there... ;)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy Birthday my love...

The highlights of Casey's 
Halloween Birthday!

"I <3 U" breakfast burritos

We went to church--and wore orange!
I asked the Bishop to wish Casey a happy birthday during the combined RS/ Priesthood meeting! :)

Casey's pumpkin birthday cake!
My decorating skills are improving! :D

Casey's first married birthday! :)
I love you sweetheart!!! <3
After church, we had a birthday party/ potluck dinner for Casey.

Some of our best friends...
I love watching how much Brandon loves Naomi!  It is so cute!!

(Brandon's wife)

Baby Naomi...  She was basically the star because she is SO adorable!
My sister wanted to join in the party but didn't want to drive for 6 hours...
We pulled her up on webcam and she watched Casey open all of his presents
and was able to sing Happy Birthday.
(technology--isn't it great!!)

My mom and dad.
(Mom is "babysitting" Julie.)

My brother
Casey's sister and brother-in-law

Casey's mom

His nieces...
They have only been down here a couple of times but every time the LOVE
to get out the Mr. Potato Head!!
...make a wish...
(He blew them all out in one breath!!)

My birthday card to him! <3
THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone that came!!!  Casey *loved* his party--it meant so much having all of our family together!  And also, thank you very much for your thoughtful gifts--he really appreciates each of them! :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

*sigh of relief*

12,693 words
57 pages
7 chapters
2 appendixes
1 (tricky) table of contents
3 months
? hours


my TWS is F.I.N.I.S.H.E.D.

(Now, I am just waiting to have it edited and proof read.) 
The end is in sight!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Never a dull moment...

Today at school, we were on a very unusual schedule.  We had an assembly celebrating Veteran's Day.  It was interesting.  Honestly, I just enjoyed sitting there for about an hour even if we were listening to different various speakers sharing their experience with Veteran's Day.  One girl read a report describing the history of how this day came to be.  I knew a lot of it but still learned some "I could win Jeopardy" facts... LoL!

Yesterday was district collaboration and we had to leave the second (literally) school got out so we could head up to the district office.  Whitney and I (sidenote: I *love* carpooling!!  Whitney is the best to talk with... it makes our long drive seem not long enough--well almost.  One morning though we were so caught up in the conversation we totally missed the exit on the freeway and ended up driving for about 5ish miles to the next exit to get off and proceed to back track...) have no idea where this thing was.  I googled some directions but my mentor teacher told us a different way that would be easier.  I scribbled down her instructions and we basically just went for it.  Anyway--super long story--to say, I didn't have time to get anything prepped yesterday before I left school.  Ugh...  That made my morning more frantic.  I was getting super stressed during my prep hour (my PREP hour for goodness sake!) today as I was trying to get everything done.  Finally I decided to just do the most important parts and I would come back to the rest later.  I still have some catching up to do  (especially with grades).

Well, classes were shorter today than they normally are because of the assembly.  But to make the classes even shorter, we had an extended lunch hour.  It was because the faculty were having a Thanksgiving luncheon.  Sweet!  Free food (I was SO full after!) and a long time to just sit and enjoy! :)

I realized today that even with the most detailed planning, there are some situations in which you just can not plan.  For example (to add to the already crazy day) 5 minutes before lunch is supposed to start, an announcement is made to hold all of the students in class because their was a sewage leak at the Jr. High (apparently we are neighbors--the jr. high is on the other side of the football field... who knew??) and all of the jr. high students are now at the high school eating lunch.  We have to hold the high school students in class until all of the jr. high kids clear the cafeteria and halls.  The jr. high kids are then (supposed) to be in the auditorium watching a movie but instead a large group of them are wandering the halls....  Well, as this story works out, it makes the short classes even shorter.  And I am now wondering how I am supposed to do a food lab with my students...?

Well, guess what?  The food lab (miraculously) worked out!  I don't know how they had time to finish everything but they all somehow pulled it off.  It was SO stressful though.  Especially for me because I had to help solve all of the frantic problems.  The students learned how to make fruit pizza today.  It emphasized the vitamins and minerals from the lesson the kids learned about last time as well as taught about calculating cost per serving.  It worked out.  But I hope I never have to do a food lab with about half of the time you originally planned for... ugh...

All of this is for my experience right??  It certainly keeps me on my toes!  :)  And it truly is never a dull moment when your students create this...
...for their fruit pizza.

Monday, November 8, 2010

City Girl

Today my kiddos (ok... they are really not that much younger than me but for some reason, I still like to call them kiddos--but never to there face... that would likely be a disaster!  Anyway....) were making chicken nuggets.  It turned all right.  The kids followed the recipe pretty well but unfortunately the recipe was not the greatest.  (It was the one my mentor teacher used.)  I don't think I am going to jump right up and make them.

Anyway, one of the guys in my class comes up and asks why I didn't buy fresh chicken.  "Um... well because I don't know how to buy fresh chicken," was the best response I could come up with.  He was SHOCKED!  He then wanted to know if I had ever eaten a fresh chicken (meaning never been frozen and not from a supermarket).  I thought this answer was obvious but he clearly didn't think so.  No.  If I don't know where to buy it from, how could I have eaten it???  This student was so puzzled that I had never experienced any of that.  I grew up in a city... a big city!  We bought all of our food from the store.  I have never killed or defeathered or skinned or etc any meat--ever (yes even on Trek... I didn't have to do this).  

We were both intrigued by the other's lifestyle.  He wears cowboy boots and work jeans everyday.  He gets up early and helps with farm chores.  I wear church shoes and teacher pants.  I stay up late and write lesson plans everyday.  We have completely different lifestyles.  But it is SO interesting for me to learn so much from watching my "country" students.  

It was also an eye opener moment for me when I learned what the "FFA" class stood for--Future Farmers of America.  In the class, they raise their own pigs and then sell them for people to buy (and eat).  They learn how to give farm animals shots and etc.  I had never even heard of such a class.  I am learning so much about culture and lifestyle and fashion while teaching at my high school.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

learned in FACS

I saw this cute poster hanging up in my junior high school.  I finally had the time to post it to our blog.  I have seen these poster on everything but loved it with FACS--probably simply because I *love* FACS!

All I Ever Needed to Know 
About Life I Learned in 
Family & Consumer Sciences

  Most of what I really need to know
about life and what to do and how to be.
I learned in Family & Consumer Sciences.
I didn't learn it in calculus or physics or French.
I learned it in my Family & Consumer Sciences class.

This is what I learned.
Choose foods from the food pyramid.
Avoid fats and sweets.
Keep food safe.
Choose clothes to flatter your body type.
Clean and fix them when needed.
Budget your money wisely.
Shop sales.
Read labels, leases, sales and mortgage
agreements very carefully.
Don't be a parent too soon.
It's also a good idea to be married first.
Choose someone you get along with.
Then know when to let it go.
Learn to balance work and family.
Learn to get along with others.
Learn to like yourself.

Think of what a better world it would be like
if we were all equipped with the life skills
taught in Family & Consumer Sciences.
If we all had strong happy families.
Had balanced budgets.could resolve conflict without violence.

It's still true, no matter how old you are.
Whether you are female or male.
What career you've chose.
It's still best to go out into the world
equipped with basic life skills.

Written by Marilyn Swierk, 1993 National Home Economics Teacher of the Year, American Home Economics Association
Please note:  Original used "Home Economics" instead of "Family & Consumer Sciences."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cashew Chicken

Casey isn't the biggest fan of me posting recipes on here... but this one was requested.  (It is  our dream to have a fancy recipe website sometime in the future... It will be much easier to use with a search box and be set up like a recipe book instead of a blog.  But until that day comes when we [lets be honest--HE] get it set up, this will just have to do.)

I made the Cashew Chicken to take into a sister I visiting teach who just had the most adorable baby.  The recipe makes A LOT!!  After taking a huge plate full to them and eating large servings ourself, we still had leftovers.  So either plan on making a lot and using it as freezer meals or cut the recipe down!  Oh, and the best part--this recipe is SO EASY!!!  Seriously don't laugh when you read how simple it is!  It really does taste amazing!

Cashew Chicken
5 chicken breasts --thawed
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 c. sliced mushrooms  --I dice instead because I don't want huge slices
1- 1 1/2 c. sliced celery
2 cans (10 3/4 oz) cream of mushroom soup  --I used one large can instead
4 T butter
3 T soy sauce
1 1/2 c cashews  --we never use this much... too expensive!

Place everything but the cashews into a crock pot.  Cover.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  (High 4-6 hours.)  Take out the chicken breasts and shred or cube them.  (Make sure you keep the lid on the crock pot to keep the sauce hot!) Put back in crock pot with the cashews (I take some out to sprinkle on top) and stir.  Cook on low for about 30 minutes.  Serve over rice.

Easy right?!  To make it even easier, I prepped everything the night before.  I had the vegetables cut and in a container, the butter and soy sauce measured and in a different container, and the chicken defatted and in a container.  Literally in the morning, I opened one can and dumped everything in the crock pot and left.

Oh and here is my tip for shredding chicken!  With a kitchen aide (I assume other mixers would do the same thing??) mixer, place the whole, cooked chicken breasts in the bowl and attach the regular mixing paddle.  Turn the mixer on for maybe one minute and ta-duh SUPER FAST shredded chicken!  I didn't end up cooking it for 30 minutes after I added the chicken back because it was still hot.

P.S.  Sorry there is no picture :(

Thursday, November 4, 2010

i'm so blessed

I know this post titles sounds cheesy but really I am.  Today, I had the opportunity of driving up during lunch and 3rd period with my mentor teacher and a couple of students to the "Food and Care Coalition" in Provo.  We dropped off 494.6 pounds of canned food.  Getting it from the FFA (my school has FFA!!!  I didn't even know what that was....  And in case any other city folk are reading this it is Future Farmers of America.) truck to the cart and then to the scale was interesting but we are strong girls. ;)  The reality of the donation still did not hit me as we stood there and watched the scale increase in weight.  Then we went on a tour....  I was so touched and so humbled.  I thought I was going as the teacher but really I feel like I learned the most.  The Coalition serves meals to people who literally have nothing.  I look at them and realize how much Casey and I do have.  Driving back to the school, I was thinking of all of the blessings we share.  Sure we have lots of "things" and food to eat and a place to sleep (all of which the people we saw did not...) but honestly my largest blessings can't be measured with scientific evidence!  I'm just deeply grateful for my love (Casey), my life, and my Light (the gospel)!!!

All the canned food boxed up and on the scale.
So now you might be wondering why my school had so many cans... Or maybe not--it seems like everyone does food drives this time of year!  But allow me to share my article I wrote for the city newspaper anyway.  I am writing for the newspaper as my Public Relations project.  I'm pretty sure I have the sweetest PR project ever because I *love* writing!

"“Jungle Fever”
By: Lisa
“Jungle Fever” ran rampant at Payson High School. On Thursday, October 28, 2010 the ladies brought their dates to the cafeteria to dance the night away at Sadie Hawkins. This year Sadies was sponsored by Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). FCCLA is the only youth organization which has the family as the focus. FCCLA is supported by the Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) classes. (Please note: These classes have previously been called Home Ec.) FCCLA spent hours after school creating decorations, under the direction of Meg & Sarah (names have been changed), to transform the school cafeteria into a jungle filled with lions (our mascot), exotic birds, monkeys, giraffes and even hippos. These girls envisioned vines, balloons and the names of everyone attending written on leaves. The decorations came together beautifully and the students loved it.  FCCLA appreciated the help from the different FACS classes. Through cross curriculum the poster advertisements, which hung in the hallways of the school, were created by the Beginning Interior Design classes, the Advanced Culinary Arts class made the refreshments of chocolate chip cookies and the Early Childhood Education class helped hang the decorations. With 130 couples attending, the dance was filled with matching shirts of all kinds including personalized M&Ms, hunting jackets, scarves and countless others. The “Jungle Fever” memories will be cherished for years to come by all of the students. The local food pantry is also making their own memories with 494.6 pounds of canned food through the generosity of Payson High students. The students were encouraged to bring in canned food items during the pre ticket sales in exchange for a discounted dance ticket."
Here is one of the Lions...
Please note:  I erased the names on the leaves... they used to look much cooler! :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I am loving high school!  I only have like 4-5 weeks left.  Not entirely sure but the end is SO close!  (I really need to finish my TWS!!!  And build my portfolio!)  If anyone knows of any FACS openings in either SLC or UT county PLEASE let me know!!!!

We have been incredibly busy with Sadies, going to the temple, Casey' birthday party, dishes after the party (we even used paper and plastic... I have no idea how they piled up so fast), "fancy" (meaning I make something) dinners almost every night, dentist visit, driving home back to school and home again because I forgot my laptop, and lesson planning!  Casey's time is filled with homework of all sorts too.

My teeth are still having problems.  This has been an on going problem for basically the year.  Well, we went back to a dentist (picked one at random and unfortunately the random dentist was very expensive!!  But they were able to do some great x-rays with sweet technology...) and learned that my teeth are fine.  There is no problems of any sort in the entire region they are hurting.  Our next guess in sinuses but I have been on antibiotics twice already this year.  If it is sinus, it either keeps coming back or is not being killed entirely.  We are not sure what to do but would appreciate lots of prayers!  I'm not sleeping well (to be honest some nights now consist of me laying in bed crying because the pain hurts so much and medicine isn't helping...) and because of me having problems, so is Casey.  He lays there wondering what to do with me.  The pain is really weird!  Sometimes it hurts so bad, I just cry (not normal for me because I have a fairly high pain tolerance) and other times the hurt is more like a dull ache.  It cycles.  I wish we could just know what is wrong but can't seem to get any definite answers.  We visited an ENT Dr. before and are now considering going back... ugh!  I just want the pain to go away... :(  I'm really serious about asking for your prayers....

I can't believe it is already November!  Last year this time I was jumping up and down because it was finally our wedding month!!!  Now, I have no idea how it is already November.  What happened to all of September and October??  How have we already been married for almost an entire year???

Well, I know this is just random, not connected thoughts... sorry about that!  But instead of having time to write more or connect things better, I have to go back to finishing lesson planning....  But, I am practically done with what is due tomorrow!  Yeah! :)